DATE: August 31, 2006
FROM: Mark Kurtich
SUBJECT: Enough is Enough
TO: Operations Employees
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
The union supporters are back, telling you that if at least fifty percent of you sign cards for the union they will file a SEVENTH PETITION (in the past 16 years!) the NLRB. Before you sign anything, think about this.
Since 1990 the union has filed six separate petitions to represent pressroom employees. Five elections were scheduled and every time the union claimed that a majority of employees had signed up for the union. We have no way of knowing whether this was true but because unions usually don’t file a petition unless at least half the employees have signed cards, we’ll take the union at its word. So what happened?
In October of 1990, the union filed a petition. Two days before the scheduled vote the union withdrew because, according to the union, "there [was] very little chance the Union [could] win the election scheduled for January 31."
In May of 1993, the union filed for an election, ballots were counted on August 5, 1993, and the union got only 28% of the vote.
On April of 1997, the union filed another petition, ballots were counted on May 23, 1997, and the union lost again, receiving 36% of the vote.
On December 30, 1999, the union filed once more, ballots were counted on February 11, 2000, and the union received only 25% of the vote.
In December of 2001 the union filed for an election only at the Olympic plant and that petition was dismissed by the Board. In June of 2002, the union filed for an election in the traditional multi-plant unit. Ballots were counted on July 26, 2002 and the union lost yet again, receiving only 27%.
A couple of things are very clear. First, pressroom employees have repeatedly and resoundingly rejected union-representation. Second, it seems obvious that aggressive peer pressure is a big reason for all of these petitions getting filed in the first place. We conclude that many employees who never intended to vote for the union nonetheless signed cards, often just to get the union supporters off their backs. Third, we have all wasted an enormous amount of time, energy, and money because of this.
Enough is enough. Clearly and for good reasons most of you don’t want a union. So don’t let a minority with their own personal agendas push you around. Stand up to them and tell them to their face what you’ve told them at the polls: you don’t want a union and won’t sign a card. Break the cycle.
Mark Kurtich is Senior vice-president of Operations Department for the Los Angeles Times.